When Jenny Ly ended her engagement to her boyfriend of five years, she was left with a $5,000 wedding venue contract, which she was unable to get out of.
The 25-year-old full-time student from Long Beach didn't want the money to go to waste, so she decided to put the Clubhouse of the La Mirada Country Club in Santa Fe Springs to good use: by holding a fundraiser for cancer.
"I could have just cried myself to sleep every night," Ly said, "But I'm trying to turn this bad situation into something else."
Ly said she had relatives and friends recently touched by cancer, which prompted her to contact the American Cancer Foundation in early August.
Since then, the event has come together around the theme, "Lemons to Lemonade," a tribute to turning a negative situation to something positive.
The August 28 fundraiser will feature comedian acts, raffles, dancing and a buffet dinner. All the proceeds will go to Relay for Life, said Nancy Whitney, a spokeswoman for the organization.
Ly said she's "keeping busy" and is trying to find humor in the series of events that led up to the fundraiser. She said there may be a bridal shower aspect to the fundraiser, to poke fun at what would have been her wedding.
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"I'm trying to be positive and a good sport about the whole thing," Ly said. "I don't want anyone to feel bad for me. Everything happens for a reason, and it's better that we didn't go through with it."
So far, Ly's family and friends have been supportive of her decision to end the wedding and sponsor the fundraiser. She said they understand why the event was canceled and are happy she isn't throwing away all the money she put into the venue.
Though it was not the ideal ending to what Ly thought would be her fairy-tale wedding, she said she did learn a lot from the experience.
"Make sure you're really sure about getting married before you sign a contract!" she laughed.
Tickets for the event are $25 pre-sale and $30 at the door. For more information about the event, visit Relayforlife.org or contact Nancy Whitney at 909-618-4992.